Grimstar Welcome To The Savage Planet is a Unity engine-based real-time strategy game with a SciFi theme. The style of the graphics is somewhat cartoonish with some resemblance to Starcraft. The maps play out on a maze-like square grid pattern that are very small in the early levels, but grow larger in subsequent levels. The goal is generally to mine all of a type of crystal, although other objects may be required to mine out, for example, some sort of artifacts or relics. As an RTS, Grimstar is nothing ground breaking, but it does feel like a game that has been well tested and is bug free.
The settings featured in Grimstar are competently implemented. All of the keyboard controls can be remapped as desired, something frequently absent in many indie games. There are not a lot of graphics options, but the overall game graphics quality can be set along with the resolution, vsync, and anti-aliasing level. All possible sound options have been included, including toggling the music on or off. General options include things like the language, toggling the FPS display, and mouse rotation direction. Grimstar includes hilariously bad voice acting for the tutorial and backstory. The player is instructed by an ape-faced officer voiced by someone that sounds like they swallowed a liter of broken glass. The tutorial is fairly basic and it’s possible to simply skip much of the dialog throughout the game.
Grimstar’s game play is fairly basic, and is centered around a hero unit that is used to summon workers, soldiers, and some other units. The workers are capable of mining the crystal outcrops as well as constructing defenses and other structures. The soldiers can be used for scouting or as mobile defense. Heavy infantry units can be called in as well as a healer type of unit. Opposing the player are an array of alien bugs and animals that may be found statically on the map or spawn in waves and charge into the general area of the mining. Generally, the player will seek out the location of crystals, and then build power, collection, and defensive units. The level ends when everything that can be mined has been mined.
Grimstar is about what you would expect from an indie RTS, and it is arguable that the developer(s) even went a little overboard with the voice acting. The animations and effects are fairly simplistic, and the map designs are very old school. The tactics the player can employ to win a level only vary between building defenses oriented toward the general direction of spawning enemies and how many soldiers to summon. There isn’t anything in the way of a competing AI that is trying to also build up forces and assault your ‘base’, it’s strictly bugs and animals that spawn in waves. There is some skill leveling for completing maps, but it doesn’t feel like it is necessary or that the player has any control over the skills. The bottom line is that Grimstar Welcome To The Savage Planet would not be worth paying much for, but as it is completely free, it is recommended.